New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was adamant at the annual U.S. Conferences of Mayors meeting in Miami Beach this past Saturday: the majority of US mayors want to work together to combat climate change, with or without the US’s official participation in the Paris Climate Accord.
Data received from a survey sent to the mayors of 1,4oo cities (all those with a population over 30,000) has shown positive results so far, with information coming in from 66 cities in 30 states that 90% are interested in forming partnerships with other local governments to create climate plans, implement transportation programs or procure equipment such as electric vehicles, reports the Guardian.
“There’s near unanimity in this conference that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it,” said Landrieu. “There may be a little bit of a disagreement about how actually to deal with it. If the federal government refuses to act or is just paralyzed, the cities themselves, through their mayors, are going to create a new national policy by the accumulation of our individual efforts,” he said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that US cities are often going at it alone in dealing with the local effects of climate change. But shouldn’t all these cities with common problems be collaborating with each other, even if the federal government isn’t doing it for them? "But if we don't do it, who's going to do it, right?" de Blasio said. "Cities and states around the country are now doing the kinds of things the national government should do. It's just that we can't depend on our national government anymore."
This spirit comes as backlash against the Trump administration’s recent decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords, making the United States one out of three countries that are not in agreement with the accords, along with Syria and Nicaragua.